A Promise is a Promise
On December 14, 2012, I was sitting in our living room staring at the TV - completely heartbroken. My wife Stephanie walked in, and I couldn't even talk to her. All over the news that day was the story of how 26 lives were taken at Sandy Hook elementary in Newtown, Connecticut. And of course, the most unimaginable news was 20 of those lives were beautiful and innocent 6 and 7 year olds. I couldn't believe what I was seeing.
My oldest son is 14 now. He was 8 years old when this happened. That night, I went into his room and just stood by his bed while he was sleeping. Such a range of emotions.. complete rage at this person who killed these 26 people. Sadness, trying to imagine how the parents were feeling. And at the same time, gratitude and love for my boy. Unlike the kids in Connecticut, he would be getting up the next day with a full life ahead of him.
Standing there I made a promise to DJ and to myself. I remember saying out loud. "I don't know how it will happen, but someday I will do something to make this world a little better." I kissed my boy and went to bed.
Years passed, and I always remembered that night, never losing the commitment I made grieving over my son.
So this is the reason this campaign is so meaningful to me. All of you who are getting behind this idea are helping that promise I made become a reality. You probably wouldn't be reading this right now if you and I weren't a bit similar. I believe every person, deep down, wants to know that they're making a difference. I'm not suggesting that The Pay it Forward Effect, or any kindness campaign will ever stop an evil person from performing these acts. But I'm not going to sit around and just accept it. This campaign is more than making people smile. It's about showing others, that despite these mass shootings, that in general, humanity is good. It's our dream now to eventually have several hundred people joining us each week from all around the country. People like you and me, who want to do their part to bring others together, and to create a positive ripple effect so big that it will be felt in every town and city in our country, and someday, possibly even around the world.
In an effort to spread this message to as many people as possible, I have made myself available to share our story to any audience who's willing to have me, whether it's by media interviews or in person. If you are in charge of booking public speakers for your organization or for an upcoming conference, and you think our story is one that your group will enjoy learning about, please contact me. I'd love to chat.